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Lecturers

The list of lecturers is subject of change based on lecturers' availability. All possible changes will be advertised on these pages. For the congress schedule visit the Program page!


Iván Almár
The panic reaction of the press to news on celestial or extraterrestrial phenomena

Hungarian astronomer, active in space research since 1957.  He served as co-chair of the IAA SETI Committee from 1984 to 2000. He is a member of the International Academy of Astronautics, COSPAR and IAU. As co-developer of the Rio Scale, he tried to quantify the impact of any public announcement regarding evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence. He is also author of the San Marino Scale for the assessment of the importance of transmissions towards alien civilizations as well as of the London Scale characterizing the significance of a putative discovery of extraterrestrial life. Prof. Almar is popularizing space research and astronautics since decades and he was member of the presidency in the first Hungarian skeptic community

Willem Betz

Willem Betz
European Union and Alternative Medicine

Willem Betz is Professor of Medicine at the University of Brussels VUB where he is head of the department for teaching General Medicine. As a young MD, he started a private practice in family medicine and also studied homeopathy and manual medicine and practiced them for a brief period. This was the trigger for his special interest for psycho-somatics, evidence based medicine, methodology of research, and fraud in medicine, and those are some of the topics he now teaches to future MDs. He is Chairman of the Belgian Skeptics organisation SKEPP, and a Fellow of CSICOP.

J. Beth Ciesielski

J. Beth Ciesielski
Education in Romania

Ms. J. Beth Ciesielski has been a founder of NGOs in the US and Romania; Bridges for Education, inc., Everywomen Opportunity Center, and Fundatia Centrul pentru Constiinta Critica, the Romanian Branch of Center for Inquiry. She presently serves on the Advisory Committee for the International branch of ISHV. (Institute for Scientific and Humanist Values.). She was the Director of Vocational Training Programs through the City of Bflo and Erie Community College. She has served as an officer of several Board of Directors, elected to a NYS School Board and to the United Way Board of Directors. She taught NGO Management at Babes Bolyai University in Cluj, Romania and the University of Bucharest, Romania.

Cristopher C. French

Christopher C. French
Anomalistic psychology

Christopher C. French is a psychologist and vocal skeptic specialising in the psychology of paranormal beliefs and experiences, cognition and emotion. He is currently Professor of psychology at Goldsmiths College, University of London, is head of their Anomalistic psychology Research Unit which he founded in the year 2000, and is the co-editor of The Skeptic (UK) magazine

Luigi Garlaschelli

Luigi Garlaschelli
The making of the Shroud

Italian chemist. Since 2001 he is lecturer for a course of Organic Chemistry at the University S.Raffaele (Milan). He authored or co-authored about 50 papers and patens. Besides his official duty, Garlaschelli is since several years interested in paranormal phenomena, scientific anomalies, pseudoscience and mysteries. Since 1991 he is fellow of CICAP, where he is in charge of the experimental works.

Michael Heap

Michael Heap
The Politics of CAM in the UK

Clinical and a forensic psychologist. He worked over 9 years in a medium secure hospital. Now works exclusively in private practice. He is the Chairman/Secretary and a founder member of ASKE, the Association for Skeptical Enquiry. He is also the editor of ASKE’s quarterly newsletter Skeptical Adversaria and its annual magazine Skeptical Intelligencer.

Gerard De Jong

Gerald de Jong
A Multi-Player Online Game to Raise Evolutionary Awareness

Gerald de Jong is a freelance software builder based in Rotterdam with an incurable fascination for the process of Darwinian evolution, and specifically for how computers can help people understand it by enabling us to play with "time". Recently he has been working to synthesizing his work into a game called "Tetragotchi" which aims to give a growing number of players a first-hand taste of survival-of-the-fittest evolution. His hope is that experiencing evolution in this way will enable people to expand their ability to imagine the vast expanses of time behind the emergence of biology, and finally dispel the superstitious mythological explanations for which humans have proven themselves to be so remarkably vulnerable.

Kampis György

George Kampis
Evolution, creationism

Kampis deals with philosophy of science and evolution. Head of Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Eötvös University in Budapest. Director of Budapest Semester in Cognitive Science. Regular guest in science-pseudoscience debates in the media.


Beatrice Mautino and Stefano Bagnasco
Solving Mysteries by Learning Science (and Vice versa)

Beatrice Mautino is a Science Communication professional with a background in Neurobiology and Biotechnology, and a full member of CICAP. She works as a free-lance for several institutions, organizing interactive labs and activities for kids, teens and the general public.

Stefano Bagnasco is a High Energy physicist working for INFN, the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics, and a full member of CICAP; as the coordinator of the CICAP Working Group on Astrology he appeared in several radio and TV programs.

Joe Nickell

Joe Nickell
Undercover! Clandestine Paranormal Investigations

Joe Nickell is Senior Research Fellow of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) - an international scientific organization - and investigative columnist for Skeptical Inquirer magazine. A former professional stage magician (he was Resident Magician at the Houdini Magical Hall of Fame for three years) and private investigator for a world-famous detective agency, Dr. Nickell taught technical writing for several years at the University of Kentucky before taking the full-time position with CSICOP at its offices at the Center for Inquiry in Amherst, New York.

Atila Nyerges

Atila Nyerges
Mysticism in Nowadays Romania

Atila Nyerges graduated as MD the University of Medicine and Pharmacy Timisoara and later at ASEBUSS, the Executive Master of Business Administration joint program between Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies and University of Washington, Seattle. Now he works for a leading innovative pharmaceutical company. He is founding member and president of the Romanian Secular-Humanist Association (ASUR), a young organization promoting science, critical thinking and a secular state. During the last few months, ASUR launched a campaign promoting evolutionism and implemented an astronomy contest with IT prizes.

Massimo Polidoro

Massimo Polidoro
Houdini: A Magician among the spirits

Massimo Polidoro, writer and psychologist, is one of the leading experts in the investigation of the paranormal. An apprentice of James "The Amazing" Randi, he was the co-founder of CICAP (the Italian Committee for the Invstigation of Claims of the Paranormal), of which he still is the Executive Director, and the first to hold a University course in Anomalistic Psychology in Italy. Massimo is a Research Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), writes a regular column in "The Skeptical Inquirer" and is the author of over 30 books (two of which on Harry Houdini).

Röst Gergely

Gergely Röst
Why useless treatments are so widespread? Insights from a simple mathematical model

Gergely Röst is an assistant professor of mathematics at University of Szeged, Hungary. Besides purely theoretical works he publishes articles of the matematical modelling of pandemics and other biological processes.

Klara Sandor

Klára Sándor
Languages, families, and genes: the power of a metaphor

Klára Sándor, linguist, turkologist and former MP is professor of linguistics at University of Szeged (Hungary). Her research fields are evolutionary linguistics (the theory of language change) and the sociology of language.  Her special interest focuses on the origins and cultural history of a specific runiform script whose monuments are written in Hungarian and were found in Transylvania (Romania, earlier Hungary), and which belong to the group of "Eastern European (Turkic) Runiform Scripts". Besides her academic publications she regularly publishes articles about language and cultural historical myths and participates in media debates about these topics.

Amardeo Sarma

Amardeo Sarma
Should we change the rules of science for Parapsychology and CAM?

Amardeo Sarma is an engineer with a current focus on communications and IT security. He is Chairman of GWUP (Gesellschaft zur wissenschaftlichen Untersuchung von Parawissenschaften), Chairman of ECSO (European Council of Skeptical Organisations) and Fellow of CSI (Committee for Skeptical Inquiry). His main interest as a skeptic are the methods of science and experimental design, dowsing, the Shroud of Turin and Homeopathy.

Klaus Schmeh

Klaus Schmeh
The Voynich Manuscript

Klaus Schmeh is a German computer scientist focussing on encryption technology (cryptology). He has written 17 books and numerous articles, mostly on cryptology and related subjects. As a member of the German skeptic organisation GWUP he is currently the only member of the skeptic community specializing in parascientific code and encryption issues. His expertise comprises the Voynich Manuscript, the Rohonc Codex, the Bible Code, pyramid codes, Shakespeare-Bacon codes, the Beale ciphers, the Da Vinci Code, and others.

Simon Singh

Simon Singh
Trick or Treatment? Alternative Medicine on Trial

After completing a PhD in particle physics, Simon Singh MBE joined the BBC and worked as a director and producer on programmes such as Tomorrow's World and Horizon. He has also presented programmes on Radio 4, BBC4 and Channel 4. He is best known as the author of Fermat's Last Theorem, The Code Book, Big Bang and Trick or Treatment?.

Gábor Szabó

Gábor Szabó
Phototherapy with the eye of the Physicist; who holds the burden of proof?

Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He was a director of the Institute of Technical and Material Sciences at the University of Szeged and since this summer he is the rector of the University. Between 2000 and 2002 he acted as the Deputy state secretary for research and development at the Ministry of Education, State Secretariat for Research and Development.

Tim Trachet

Tim Trachet
Miracles and canonisations

Tim Trachet, journalist and honorary chairman of the Belgian skeptical organisation SKEPP and member of the ECSO board.

Vágó István

István Vágó
Pseudoscience in the Media

István Vágó, a graduated engineer in pharmaceutical chemistry, is one of the most popular media personalities in Hungary. Among other infotainment programs he hosted the TV show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” for eight consecutive years. After being a member of the presidency in the first Hungarian skeptic community, he was a founding member, for one year president, of the Hungarian Skeptic Society. In his media appearances he has consistently represented rationalism.

Andy Wilson

Andy Wilson
How to take an "overdose" - The story of the 10:23 campaign

Andy Wilson is a Board member of Merseyside Skeptics Society and co-founder of the 2010 10:23 campaign against the use of homeopathy in mainstream health.  Andy lives in Southport, Merseyside and is also host of the satirical, skeptical panel show podcast, InKredulous.

Tomasz Witowski

Tomasz Witkowski
Fashionable nonsense still in fashion. Psychological Sokal-style hoax

Psychologist, science writer. He specializes in debunking pseudoscience, particularly in the field of social sciences, psychotherapy and diagnosis. Author of 7 books including "Forbidden psychology. Between charlatanry and science". As an expert in science-pseudoscience issues, he is frequently called by the media to comment on frauds and abuses witnessed in psychology, psychotherapy and other areas of scientific activity. Also co-author of the "Open letter in defence of reason" addressed to the Polish Government.

Maciek D. Zatonski

Maciej D. Zatonski
Medicine – art, science or craft?

Maciej Zatonski is a head and neck surgeon and a lecturer at Medical University in Wroclaw, where he teaches futures MDs. He also is a specialist in Health Care Business Management. He focuses on treatment and prevention of head and neck cancers and public health  – in cooperation with Health Promotion Foundation and Institue of Oncology in Warsaw. Debunks and exposes unethical treatments, abuses and frauds in medicine.

 

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